Can you relate to these words, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19)? However, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18). He is “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
Jesus revealed that sin enslaves those who commit sin, and the Truth will set all free (John 8:31–36). God’s Word is Truth and the Spirit is Truth (John 17:17; 1 John 5:6). The Spirit revealed all Truth to His Apostles, and He speaks to everyone through the words of Scripture (John 16:13; 2 Pet 1:20–21). Many Christians have overcome temptations by the Truth, and yet for others, the Truth appears unfinished within them.
The Scriptures foretell the enslavement, guilt, and devastation when people sin. However, Christ is able to help everyone overcome temptations, habitual sin, and addictions. God transforms Christians by the renewing of the mind (Rom 12:1–2). Christians overcome slavery to fleshly desires and passions by focusing on the Spirit (Rom 8:5–6).
Furthermore, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). What does walking in the Spirit mean? Walking by the Spirit is living that produces the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–24). Note that the lust of the flesh consist of more than sexual immorality. Works of the flesh include jealousy, rage, divisiveness, drunkenness, sinful partying, and more (Rom 13:13–14; Gal 5:19–21). Walking in the Spirit is the way of escape. There is always a way to escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:12–13). Christ can set the sinner free. The Scriptures affirm, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18).
To begin walking in the Spirit, one must believe to become obedient to the Gospel (Rom 6:17; 2 Thess 1:7–9). The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel that saves believers (1 Cor 15:1–4). Each confessing believer must die with Christ repenting of their sins, be buried with Christ by baptism in His name, and be raised with Christ into the newness of life (Rom 6:1–7, Col 2:11–13). This is when God raises the believer with Christ and saves the believer by His grace (Eph 2:4–6). Only after this can someone put to death sin (Col 3:1–5). This faith is essential to start putting to death sin.
(1) Become aware what separates you from God.
- How do you feel about repeatedly giving into the same temptations?
- Do you feel sorrow for your sin?
- Do you feel shame, guilt, stress and selfish after giving into sin?
- Will giving into temptations help you stop sinning and grow closer to God and Christ?
- Do you know how to stop these desires from dominating your mind and body (Rom 6:12; 8:5–6)?
- Do you believe that your behavior is separating you from God?
- How does this behavior change you?
- How regularly do you allow sin to live in you and rule over you?
- “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Rom 6:12).
- “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isa 59:2).
- “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Col 1:21; cf. Eph 4:17–19).
- “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:1–4).
- “Therefore subordinate to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas 4:7–10; cf. Acts 17:26–27).
Other Scriptures: Mark 7:20–23; 8:36–37; Rom 1:28–32; 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor 6:9–11; 2 Cor 5:14–15.
(2) Realize the devastating results of what enslaves you.
- Can you see through temptations that result in stress and shame?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Rom 6:20–23) In other words, what comes from giving into sinful temptations?
- Do you see regret and ruin on the other side of this behavior?
- What is the result of even imagining giving into sinful temptations?
- What parts of your behavior do you regret? Are there parts that you do not regret?
- What parts of your actions will ruin you?
- Do you consider that your behavior may hurt others?
- What will happen if you continue this sinful behavior until you stand before God?
- Do you want God to help you change and live a holy life?
- “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas 1:14–15).
- “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,” (Heb 10:26, cf. 1 John 3:4–9).
- “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” (Rom 2:5, cf. 2:6–11).
- Jesus declared, “Fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into Gehenna; yes, I say to you, fear this One” (Luke 12:5, cf. Matt 10:26–28, Rev 19:20, 20:10).
- Christ taught, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matt 7:21).
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Rom 6:21).
Other Scriptures: Luke 4:1–13; Rom 6:16–23; 7:13-25; Eph 4:17–24; 2 Tim 2:24–26; Jas 1:14–16; 1 John 2:16–17.
(3) Embrace your way of escape.
- Are you willing to change your heart and mind to overcome these temptations (Rom 8:5–6; 12:2; Gal 5:16)?
- How aware are you of the guilt, ruin, and devastation that these sins will produce before giving into the temptations?
- Are temptations common to everyone (1 Cor 10:12–13)? Will desires tempt you again (Jas 1:14–15)?
- Do you really believe that God is faithful not to allow sin to tempt you beyond what you are able (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Will giving into the same temptations help decrease temptations and help you to escape sin?
- Will enduring temptations help you overcome them (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Will you have to bear certain urges for some time to overcome them (1 Cor 10:13)?
- If you obey sinful desires, will these continue to denominate you (Rom 6:12)?
- What good and joyful things can replace your temptations (Gal 5:16–24)?
- Will surrounding yourself with temptations help you escape them (Rom 13:13–14, 1 Cor 15:33)?
- What must you do to avoid temptations to prevent giving into them? Will you have to end some friendships and disconnect other influences?
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
- “And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal 5:24).
- Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. […] Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin'” (John 8:31–34).
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
- “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14).
- “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Cor 15:33).
- “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom 8:5–6, cf. 12:2).
Other Scriptures: Luke 9:23–24; Rom 6:1–15; Gal 2:20; 5:16–24; 1 John 3:4–9.
(4) Believe in a better life in God with Christ.
- What are some ways that life will improve when you stop giving into these temptations?
- How do you feel about living without sin — no longer doing evil?
- How clear will your conscience feel to end these sins?
- How pure will your heart and mind become without giving into sin?
- How would you describe God’s blessings when you are able to stop this sin?
- How much closer will you be to God?
- Will you be able to encourage and help others?
- How much will your confidence increase when you walk in the light knowing that Christ’s blood washes away all of your sins (1 John 1:7)?
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12).
- “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:14–15).
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:22–25).
- “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — think on these things” (Phil 4:8).
- “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (Rom 8:14–15).
- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:31–32).
- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37).
Other Scriptures: Matt 11:28–30; Rom 8:1–39; Eph 1:3; Heb 2:16–18; 4:15–16; 2 Pet 2:9.
*Prayerfully study these Scriptures daily, set your mind on the Spirit, and thus walk by the Spirit. May God bless everyone reading this and struggling with an addictive sin to allow the Word of God to overcome this sin from within the heart. [**If you are going to detox your body from a substance go to an Emergency Room or a rehabilitation clinic. Detoxification can be very dangerous.**]